Keeping the Faith
I was very glad to read that religion has a comfortable and accepting
atmosphere at Northwestern ["Keeping the Faith," summer 2002]. I entered
Northwestern as an agnostic transfer student to the School of Communication
in 1947 but graduated ready to earn a masters degree in Christian
education from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. The transformation
of my beliefs came about both through the intellectual stimulation of
courses at Northwestern and the fellowship of the Westminster Foundation,
housed then at the John Evans Center. Those years set me on a lifetime
of spiritual exploration and growth that is as enriching today as those
long-ago days on campus.
Marjorie Marlowe Glassco (C49)
Thanks so much for a most interesting and well-written summer issue with
several articles of special interest to me as a pastor. As I reflect on
my years at Northwestern during the Vietnam War era of 1969 to 1972, I
realize that my own spiritual quest became much more significant to me
than the classes I took or the friends I made. The development of my Christian
faith gave me the moorings I needed to navigate the cultural upheaval
and political currents swirling around me. This quest sent me in search
of the pacifist Christian community base I found at Reba Place Fellowship
in South Evanston and eventually to a vocation in the ministry. I am glad
that students are finding good support for their spiritual life at Northwestern
these days, and I was uplifted to read their testimonies.
Rev. Sally Schreiner (WCAS73)
Living Water Community Church
As an Orthodox Jew whose religious growth flourished on campus, I found
this issue of the alumni magazine frustrating. The article on religious
students included profiles of representatives of each faith. Three of
the four started with the premise of the primacy of their religion in
their lives. But not the Jewish student. Couldnt the magazine find
a single observant Jewish student who didnt insist on "challeng[ing]
the shortcomings" of her religion?
I find it hard to believe that there are no Jews on Northwesterns
two campuses who could similarly express unequivocal commitment to the
Ronald D. Coleman (L88)
New York City
I was pleasantly surprised to read the reference to D. Lynn Johnson, a
professor in the McCormick school and an adviser to Mormon students. He
was adviser to the Deseret Club in the early 1970s while I was at Northwestern.
He is still actively involved with the Latter-Day Saints Student Association.
My two sons, now undergraduates on campus, have both benefited from his
Although small in number, the Mormon students at Northwestern have continued
as an active group throughout the past three-plus decades in part because
of the efforts of Johnson and others who have selflessly given of their
Dale Walther (WCAS72)
Jennifer Sus sidebar ["Sowing the Seeds of Christianity"] reminded
me of my early months at Northwestern. When I came to campus in 1951,
I was greeted by InterVarsity students who made me feel at home right
off the bat. They helped me so much in my walk with Christ during all
I shall never forget the great times of fellowship in InterVarsity and
the students and faculty who guided me along the way.
Ed Ronne Sr. (C53)
Love with a Tech Weenie
I really enjoyed the "Love with a Tech Weenie" [Purple Prose, summer 2002]
essay by Judy Belk (C75) because my husband, Steve Tarzynski (WCAS73),
and I had a parallel experience. He was a premed biology major, and I
was majoring in history in the same years (early 1970s). Steve joined
me in a survey course on African history, my specialty. So imagine my
chagrin when he got an A and I received a B! I went on to earn a doctorate
in African history, while he became a pediatrician. His research in African
history was put to use when we resided in Mozambique for two years in
Kathleen Sheldon (WCAS74)
Santa Monica, Calif.
Belk defines "tech weenie" as an "affectionate nickname given to engineering
students," but it has been my experience that this term is not used by
engineering students but rather by people with different academic backgrounds
to describe someone they dont understand.
Thomas M. Tirpa (GMcC01)
Editors note: The term "tech weenie" was coined in 1909 shortly
after the School of Engineering moved into Swift Hall, a building constructed
with funds donated by meatpacker Gustavus F. Swift.
Leon Forrests Legacy
Thank you for "Preserving the Forrest Legacy" [Alumni News, winter 2001].
Professor Leon Forrest was a dynamic and thoughtful man who made each
student feel "talented" and "special," as Charles Whitaker (J80, GJ81)
Professor Forrest didnt just teach us how to write, he guided us
through the thought process of writing, and its his soft and energetic
voice that still emboldens this writer when self-doubt occurs.
Thank you, Professor Forrest, for encouraging, leading and mentoring us
to be better than we thought we could be.
Rest in peace.
Robin T. Davis (WCAS83)
Swimming Back into Focus
As the comic lead of the 1950 Dolphin Show,"Look Out Below," I enjoyed
"Stepping up to the Plate," summer 2002, about the Dolphin Shows
latest production. Ill admit I havent heard anything about
the show for more than 50 years, but I was amazed to learn that it reached
dry land during the last half century.
I was one of the cast members who could scarcely swim, so Cahn Auditorium
would have suited me more than the Patten Gym pool.
Don Kington (Mu51)
Editors note: The Dolphin Show bobbed to the surface in 1940
to raise funds to send a mens swimming group called the Dolphin
Club to competitions in Florida. Eventually the show drifted away from
its aquatic roots, with most of the skits performed around the pool, not
in it. The Dolphin Show became permanently dry-docked at Cahn in 1970.
Engineers Can Write, Too
I really enjoy reading profiles and first-person essays written by and
about current students such as Elizabeth Prevost ["Helping Lost Boys Find
Their Way," Student Life, summer 2002], Michael DePillas funny account
of his thinning hair ["Mirror, Mirror on the Wall," Student Life, summer
2002] and Geeta Kharkars first-person story about producing this
years Dolphin Show.
Yet almost always these accounts are written by Medill students. I realize
that journalism students are the ones who like to write and that engineering
students may not have the best writing skills. But McCormick students
do a lot of really neat stuff on campus.
We McCormick alumni would like to spread the word about how great the
current engineering curriculum is. And who knows? Maybe a couple of WCAS
or Medill alumni will read the magazine and encourage their high school
senior bound for engineering college to apply to Northwestern.
Alina Laurie (McC01)
Editors note: We admit that Medill students write an abundance
of profiles and essays for Northwestern magazine. However, we would
be thrilled to have students from McCormick and all other schools submit
first-person essays. So, current students, please contact the editor if
youre interested in writing for the magazine.
Hope for the Balding
I read Michael DePillas lament about his hair with amusement and
Male-pattern baldness is treatable, even in a very young man. Also, to
set the record straight, the baldness gene can be inherited from the mothers
or the fathers side.
William V.R. Shellow (FSM63)
Professor of dermatology
University of California, Los Angeles
Those Tricky Class Codes
As I was perusing the summer issue, I noticed that alumni are identified
by letters and numbers in parentheses that do not appear to match degrees
earned. For example: WCAS69 or EB48. What do these symbols represent?
Monica Tofil Fleisch (G67)
Editors note: WCAS indicates an undergraduate degree from the
Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences or Liberal Arts, and EB means Evanston
Business, used to denote an undergraduate business degree that is no longer
offered. The numbers indicate the year the student graduated.
For a complete list of all the degree designations, look for "Classmates
Decoded" in Alumni News in every issue.
Boom Chicago Rocks
Special congratulations on "Dutch Treat" [summer 2002] about Amsterdam-based
improvisation troupe Boom Chicago.
A playwright and producer myself, I know how difficult it is to get works
performed. I was amazed at how resourceful these super-talented Northwestern
alumni have been in meeting the challenge of getting their unique comedy
established in a foreign country.
Sarah Blacher Cohen (G69)
Professor of English
SUNY at Albany
Whats in a Name?
I am in awe of a family wealthy enough and generous enough to have given
the Medical School the gifts given by the Feinberg family. I must point
out that the use of FSM to identify Northwestern University Medical School
graduates before the class of 2002 is inaccurate, pandering and generally
distasteful to those of us graduating in earlier years.
My friend Paul OBrien is listed in the obituaries as FSM. Paul most
emphatically did not graduate from The Feinberg School of Medicine in
1954 any more than I did in 1957.
Give the Feinberg Foundation full credit for the current medical school
students and all those who follow. As for me, and, I suspect, many others,
the simple designation M followed by our class year will be sufficient.
J. Byron Gathright Jr. (FSM57)
I think its great that Northwestern received $103 million from the
Feinberg family, and I have no problem putting their name on the Medical
But I consider previous graduates, like myself, as grads of Northwestern
University Medical School, NUMS, not Feinberg School of Medicine.
Did they consider calling it Northwestern/Feinberg School of Medicine?
I hate to see Northwestern left out of the name. Lets not rewrite
too much history!
David S. Moore (FSM63)
Editors note: The class code FSM was chosen to be consistent
with the designation for other named schools, such as the Weinberg College
of Arts and Sciences (WCAS).
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